About the project
We worked with Natural Resources Wales to evaluate the Come Outside project. The project employed four coordinators across Wales. They worked with existing groups to activate them to connect with the outdoors. The range of groups they got involved with was huge, from veterans suffering from PTSD, victims of domestic abuse and people suffering from drug and alcohol problems. The coordinators provided the groups with a range of taster activities, they were then supported to access more sustainable provision.
What we did
We undertook a programme of work over two and half years that combined self-evaluation and our own independent evaluation. This meant the Coordinators or groups were responsible for collecting data on who took part and what happened to them. They also collected a range of case studies and other feedback from participants. We created a bespoke web based platform, allowing the different areas to view their own data and to provide a live stream of data for quarterly reporting.
We supplemented this work by undertaking our own independent evaluation. This included interviews and surveys with key stakeholders and a large number of case study visits allowing us to understand the impact of the programme on different groups.
Impact of our work
We identified a range of positive benefits from the programme. In particular, we found:
- the model adopted by Come Outside was effective and replicable;
- the Coordinators needed a wide range of skills allowing them to work across the different sectors involved in the programme;
- it takes time and resources to support people to overcome the multiple barriers they face but when they do the impact can be significant;
- programmes need to be long enough to allow sedentary people to build up a programme of regular physical activity; and
- those who have the most to gain can be reached through the community, health and social care sectors.
The project found our work very useful in shaping their work as they progressed and were very complimentary of our approach and methods.
- "Thanks very much for all the help and advice you've given us - I've been involved in lots of M&E in the past and none of it has been done as thoroughly and professionally as you have managed over the course of this contract."Phillip Jayne, 'Come Outside!' Project Manager for Natural Resources Wales